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10 Essential Laura Nyro Songs

Monday, April 2: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Laura Nyro is a 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee

Laura Nyro was among the most gifted singer-songwriters of the Sixties and Seventies, and one of the first female singer-songwriters who didn’t come from the folk-music world. Her music reflected a combination of spirituality and street smarts. Bursting with talent, she possessed a soulful soprano, a commanding touch on the piano, and an arsenal of songs that drew from R&B, soul, gospel, jazz, Brill Building pop and Broadway show tunes. Nyro was not easily pigeonholed and almost too unconventional for mainstream tastes. However, she had a fanatical cult following, and many of her songs became popular in the hands of others. Decades later, such radically original female artists as Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Suzanne Vega evinced some of Nyro’s trailblazing sorcery, while male performers, including Elton John and Todd Rundgren, have also credited Nyro as an influence.

Nyro was raised in New York City, where she heard and studied all kinds of music. She was only 19 when More Than a New Discovery, her debut album, was released in 1967. Later that year, aspiring manager David Geffen saw Nyro perform at the Monterey Pop Festival and got her signed to Columbia Records. She released a ...


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10 Essential Small Faces/Faces Songs

Monday, April 2: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Small Faces/Faces are 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Small Faces’ career occurred in two distinct stages that saw a partial realignment in personnel and pronounced shift in style. They began as the Small Faces, a band of mod rockers who embraced soul and psychedelia in the Sixties. Then they became the Faces – though their first release was credited to the "Small Faces" – a rollicking band of roots rockers who took the Seventies by storm. The change occurred in late 1969, when Steve Marriott left the Faces to form Humble Pie and was replaced by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.

With the British Invasion in full swing, the Small Faces formed in 1965. Much like the Who, they were a band of sharp-dressed, soul music-loving mods. Marriott's electrifying voice lent its energy to a string of high-energy singles. Their turn to psychedelia resulted in the hit “Itchycoo Park” and the concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake.

The Faces played a rowdy, disheveled brand of rock that could make a large arena seem like a corner bar. With Stewart’s raspy vocals and the loose yet muscular playing of Wood, keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist and vocalist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenny Jones, they rivaled the Rolling Stones ...


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10 Essential Guns N' Roses Songs

Monday, April 2: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

The Best Guns N' Roses songs of all time GNR Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Axl Rose

The 1987 release of Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, Appetite for Destruction, was a pivotal moment in rock history. With Guns N' Roses – vocalist Axl Rose, guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler – rock music rediscovered its edge, rage and sense of danger. Guns N' Roses rank alongside a handful of hard-rock bands with punk-rock attitudes – including the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith and AC/DC - that shook and shocked the world.

Guns N' Roses formed in Los Angeles in 1985 and Appetite for Destruction, which was released on Geffen Records two years later, would ultimately enjoy a 147-week run on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1991, Guns N' Roses released two volumes of Use Your Illusion on the same day. It was a remarkable outpouring of music, totaling 30 tracks on two CDs. Use Your Illusion I and II each sold 7 million copies and reached Number Two and Number One, respectively. By 1997 only Axl Rose remained from the original Guns N' Roses. However, a rather stable lineup has existed under his leadership since the late Nineties and released Chinese Democracy in 2008.

Here, the Rock Hall suggests 10 essential Guns N' Roses songs ...


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10 Essential Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

Monday, April 2: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Red Hot Chili Peppers merged the sounds and sensibilities of punk, funk and hip-hop to become an iconic and hugely popular group. Their music and lifestyles reflect the Southern California milieu in which they were born. They have been a band given to extremes, from thrashy, funky noise and personal excess to sunnier music and healthier living.

They formed in Los Angeles in 1983 as a foursome with Anthony Kiedis, Michael "Flea" Balzary, Hillel Slovak and Jack Irons. The last two left before the recording of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' self-titled 1984 debut and were replaced by drummer Cliff Martinez and guitarist Jack Sherman. Slovak returned for Freaky Styley (produced by George Clinton), and Irons rejoined for 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. After Slovak's 1988 death by heroin overdose, guitarist John Frusciante was recruited, and drummer Chad Smith replaced Irons.

This was the lineup that recorded the classic albums Mother's Milk (1989), Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Californication (1999), By the Way (2002) and Stadium Arcadium (2006). Frusciante took a hiatus from 1993-1997 and left for good in 2009, replaced by Josh Klinghoffer, who'd been the band's auxiliary tour guitarist. The ...


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Bruce Springsteen Exhibit Moves to the Streets of Philadelphia

Monday, February 20: 1 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum VP of exhibitions and curatorial Jim Henke talks Springsteen

From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen opened at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia this past weekend. The Rock Hall curated the exhibit, and it was the major temporary exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from April 2009 to February 2011.

The Springsteen exhibit was not originally intended to travel, but after representatives from the Constitution Center came to Cleveland to see it, they thought it would be a great fit for their museum. We had several discussions with them, and we worked with Springsteen’s management to see whether moving it was a possibility. In the end, we all agreed that it made sense to take the exhibit to the Constitution Center. After all, Springsteen’s roots go back to the Jersey Shore, an area not that far from Philadelphia. Moreover, Springsteen is a truly American musician and songwriter, someone who has given voice to the restlessness, hopes and dreams of ordinary Americans. Millions of listeners have found their experience of the American dream reflected in his songs about the lonely, the lost, the unemployed, immigrants and military veterans. The City of Brotherly Love was ...


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2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

Wednesday, December 7: 5:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions in Cleveland!

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2012, and the inductees are:

Performer Category:

 

Early Influence:

 

Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award:

 

The Award for Musical Excellence:

 

“We are pleased to announce this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, who represent the broad spectrum of artists that define rock and roll,” says Joel Peresman, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. “We are also thrilled this year to again be partnered with HBO, who presented the Hall of Fame’s 25th Anniversary Concerts.”

The 27th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in Cleveland and premiere on HBO in early May. The 2012 ceremony will again be open to the public, as it was – for the first time in the event’s history – at the 2009 Inductions in Cleveland.

 “Our previous collaboration with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a landmark television event,” says Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming.  “We are delighted to ...


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McCartney's Letter to Lennon

Wednesday, November 23: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Paul McCartney inducts John Lennon

In 1994, John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. His longtime friend and musical collaborator Paul McCartney, making his first Hall of Fame appearance, inducted Lennon. More personal than the traditional induction speech, McCartney read a "letter" to Lennon, recounting a number of moving memories and thanking Lennon.

McCartney shared stories from their earliest attempts at writing songs together, teaching Lennon guitar chords and visiting Lennon's "Mum's house." He talked of their hotel visits with Little Richard and Gene Vincent, and spending time with Elvis Presley. He recalled Lennon's advice for handling the vocals on the Beatles' "Kansas City" and the "sneaky little look" they shared during the writing of "A Day In The Life." McCartney discussed meeting "this girl called Yoko Ono" – who later accepted Lennon's Hall of Fame Award on behalf of her late husband. The heartfelt letter moved many to tears.

"The joys you told me about how you were baking bread now and how you were playing with your little baby Sean," said McCartney of reconnecting with Lennon later in life. "That was great for me, because it gave me something to hold ...


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Memorializing Les Paul

Tuesday, September 13: 1:51 p.m.
Posted by Jim Henke
Les Paul memorial in Waukesha, Wisconsin

This past Saturday, I was fortunate to be in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to take part in the dedication of a memorial to Hall of Fame inductee Les Paul. The memorial is in Prairie Home Cemetery, where the legendary guitarist is buried. The event was attended by Les’ family and friends, including his son Russ. Michael Braunstein, Les’ longtime manager and the executive director of the Les Paul Foundation, served as the emcee of the event. Others in attendance included Lou Pallo, who played guitar in the Les Paul Trio for almost 30 years, Henry Juszkiewicz, the chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar, and Ron Sturm, the owner of the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, where Les played shows every Monday night, from 1995 until his death in 2009.

All of the speakers heaped tons of praise on Les. His son said, “He was a person who hit a lot of hearts,” and that was clear from the commentaries. Lou Pallo said: “He was a genius. He was a great, great, great musician.” Gibson’s Juszkiewicz also called Les a “genius,” and he talked about his inventiveness. Speaking about the house where Les lived in New Jersey, the Gibson CEO ...


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